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Texts - Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects, vol
These knights and professional instructors in arms wrote and illustrated immense technical treatises and books on their "science of self-defense." Intended to preserve their secrets or instruct their students and patrons, these little-known works, some in excess of six hundred pages, represent time-capsules of the actual fighting systems and proven combative disciplines used at the time.
With this unavoidability of the empire arises the stately functionary, treatises on the morality of civilisation and the figure of the Western warrior, which is nowadays a professional figure rather than a spiritual one....
Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects - Forgotten Books
Western scholars are convinced, on good evidence, that there was an original Root Text (mula-sutra) and that gradually various expanded (vailpulya) redactions of the Root Text were fashioned. By examining internal evidence in the texts themselves, they have been able to suggest the progression in which these redactions appeared. In the East, however, the tradition is that all the texts are original and fixed Sutras since the inception of Buddhism itself. As said by Prof. Conze: "...religious people are inclined to attribute their holy scriptures to divine inspiration, and they do not like to think of them as an historical sequence of utterances made by fallible men." For our part we consider that these unique texts are indeed the result of divine inspiration, or intuition, but We do see them very much as part of an historical sequence of revelation. Thus, we are able to reconcile both the Eastern and the Western points of view. There are authentic historical references to a Root Treatise (mula-sutra) in the Astasahasrika-prajnaparamita-sutra. This root treatise was said to have been communicated by the Acarya Dharmodgata to his disciple Sadaprarudita, a seeker from the West. Sadaprarudita is described as a layman, in that he is a Bodhisattva with a female companion. Through making an exceptional self-sacrifice, he becomes worthy to be entrusted with the sacred text, much like Parceval in the later Grail Legends.
The most important feature of the Forty-one Stanzas is that it is from this original text, as stated by Prof. Conze, that all other versions of the Prajnaparamita-sutra have derived. From the Mahayana Buddhist perspective these Stanzas are therefore The One Key Text for an understanding of the original Prajnaparamita teachings. This understanding must take place within the context of Prajnaparamita literature as a whole. We would suggest, that for this purpose, it is first essential to appreciate the underlying meaning of the name, Transcendental Wisdom, particularly from its original intent, and secondly, the historical role played out in the evolution of these unique treatises in Buddhism.
Essays and treatises on several subjects ..
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